Thursday, August 8, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #22 Brendan Gibbons

Brendan Gibbons
Name: Brendan Gibbons
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 240 lbs.
High school: West Palm Beach (FL) Cardinal Newman
Position: Kicker
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #34
Last year: I ranked Gibbons #22 and said he would be the starting placekicker. He was 16/18 on field goal attempts and 45/45 on extra points.

Gibbons continued to grow in 2012 after having his breakout season in 2011. After hitting the game-winner in the Sugar Bowl following the 2011 season, he bolstered his resume with a game-winner against Michigan State, a game-tying kick against Northwestern (which forced overtime in an eventual victory), and a career long 52-yarder against Nebraska. All that was enough to turn him into an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention kicker.

Accounting for 93 of Michigan's points last year is pretty important, so I might even be underrating him here. Gibbons has solidified the kicking job after Michigan really struggled at the position a few years ago, and I think the offense will need him this year more so than in past years. I have some doubts about whether Michigan's replacements for Roy Roundtree can be effective, running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is coming off a broken leg, and the interior offensive line is a question mark. The big plays from Denard Robinson won't be there, and the only proven big-play receiver is Jeremy Gallon. While I do believe in Devin Gardner, Gallon, and Devin Funchess, Michigan might have to win some close games against the likes of Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Notre Dame, etc.

Prediction: Starting placekicker


  1. It's amazing that placekicking has become a strength for the team. Anyone watching Gibbons in 2010 would never have believed it.

  2. In defense (I guess) of the #22 rating, there might not be a huge drop to Wile (were that to become necessary).

    I wonder what Matt's percentage would have been on those 18 kicks? I've no reason to believe that it would be much worse, but I obviously don't have enough data.

  3. I agree that Gibbons should be rated as more valuable.

    As I see it, compared to past years with Denard, Michigan should be more successful in the red zone because of its height in TE/WR (other than Gallon) and Gardner's awesome ability to run for it on bootlegs. But, it's that area just outside the red zone that Gibbons will be most valuable (e.g., the longer FGs).

    And, with Gardner's deep ball and Borges calling the deep ball often, I wonder how that will play into it.

  4. Last year I argued Gibbons was overrated. 16/18 on FGs including a 50+ yarder would suggest otherwise. However, a deeper look at the numbers tells a little different story. Gibbons only made ONE other FG over 40 yards all year. Gibbons was 2-4 On FGs over 40 yards overall, while Wile was 2-3 including a 48 yarder against MSU and 52 yarder against S.Carolina. Wile's only miss on the season was over 50 yards, while Gibbons missed 2 attempts in the 40s.

    I was shocked to see Gibbons attempt the 52 yarder because Wile has the bigger leg. Maybe Wile was hurt that game?

    Gibbons is reliable from short distance, but Wile has the bigger leg. How reliable would Wile be from short-distance? We won't know until next year but my guess would be there will be no dropoff. Maybe 1 missed EPA on the year? Maybe he missed a chip shot that Gibbons would make?

    I'm not sure what the dropoof if any would be, but swapping out a .300 hitter for a .290 hitter with more power is not a bad deal.

    Since he's the punter now, Wile is clearly more valuable to the team, but I thought he was last year as well. Extra points are easy. Hitting 25-40 yard field goals is less easy, but still something most kickers could do. Gibbons is a nice luxury to have, but he's not a special player for Michigan.